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The question for June 7, 2017: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
And the answer is: yes. Many times. It’s driven me to write a full on embrace the insanity post as Gollum from Lord of the Rings, which you can find here.
This writing thing is hard. I know it sounds like it shouldn’t be, what’s so hard about putting your butt in a chair and writing/typing? Doesn’t matter how easy it sounds. Sounds are deceiving.
Writing a book is like . . . translating in a language you only know a few phrases of while trying to write an attractive guide book to place you’ve never been. Wrestling an octopus to make it give up nuggets of inspiration, which have to be torn out of its cold, dead suckers. Balancing on a high beam juggling dictionaries while the audience throws bananas at you. Remembering obscure rules while listening to an important phone call. All at the same time.
Once you’ve done all of that, you have to get your work out there. To be honest this is the point which has driven me to give up before.
You can self-publish-which is like standing in the middle of a steaming jungle PACKED FULL of animal screeches and wailing away in your own imitation howler monkey noise hoping to get noticed, while no one notices. There’s just too many other sounds around you.
You can traditionally publish-which is like hacking your way through the jungle with a dull machete, Darn Good Book clenched desperately between your teeth, avoiding the poison darts and bouncing boulders until you reach the Mystic Temple of Publishing. And then they won’t OPEN the door.
Does any of that sound fun? Yeah, I didn’t think so. It’s a slog full of thankless work and being rejected, which always hurts. The urge to give up is sometimes overwhelming. Add in a life outside of writing, a job, all the stresses that happen daily and the big ones that come once in a while to knock your life over sideways and you start thinking, why even continue?
So what makes me come back to it? I’m not 100% sure. Part of it is how much I love stories, and how much I want to be a part of that world. Some of it is that I want to write, no matter how hard it gets. A little bit of it has to do with the fact that I can’t not write. It’s just there and wants to come out, whether anyone ever reads it. And the rest, I suspect, has to do with the fact that I am full of boneheaded, visceral, built-in stubborn. For some reason, all the rejection just makes me more determined that I will do this.
How much of this sounds familiar to you? What makes you want to quit? What is your reason to keep writing?